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February 01, 2012 04:52 PM

Warmth Closes Sioux Falls Outdoor Ice Rinks

Sioux Falls, SD

For some, the warm weather across KELOLAND may be a welcome change from the harsh winters of the past two years. But it's causing a difficult meltdown for others.

You would think ice rinks could survive a winter in Sioux Falls, but the city's Parks and Recreation Department has been fighting a losing battle to keep solid ice.

"It's been a struggle. The previous two years were good and even the year before that was pretty good too. But this year is the worst we can remember," Parks and Rec Director Don Kearney said.

Kearney says the ice rinks got a late start to the season, not opening until January when they're usually open before schools take their Christmas break. Now with all closed three weeks early, getting them open again this season doesn't look promising.

"It's a long shot to even do that," Kearney said.

That has those with Parks and Rec suggesting people stay active by taking advantage of other outdoor activities. And certainly, this is a winter to remember.

"The folks that have been around the department for a long time can't remember a year where the ice rink situation has been so poor because of the warm weather," Kearney said.

Making ice on a rink is a lengthy process requiring 24-hour care. That's why the parks department may choose not to re-open rinks, even if the weather turns colder.
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